Return of the Guru

New Technology May Boost Efforts at Fraud Detection

Ara Trembly
Insurance Experts' Forum, January 18, 2011

In an era where margins are tight and budgets are tighter, insurance companies and brokers can ill afford the losses that inevitably come as a result of fraud, yet there is no doubt that such crimes will continue. We soldier on, hoping that technology will somehow come up with something to give us hope, and it appears that a new system developed by the Management Group of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (DAMA-UPC) may do just that.

The DAMA-UPC group has designed a system for exploring information on networks or graphs that can complement Internet search engines, and is of particular interest in areas related to social media, the Internet, biomedicine, fraud detection, education and other areas, says a report in Science Daily.

According to Josep Lluís Larriba, director of DAMA-UPC, the technology can be used to extract information from WikiLeaks from two perspectives:

1. To obtain generic indicators that provide information on whether the data network has the features of a social network, and whether communities of data are created that can provide relevant information

2. To use the documents hosted on the website to analyze how a topic evolves over time, how a person or a group relates to different topics and how the documents themselves interrelate

While that sounds like a lot of manipulation of a lot of data, the bottom line is that the new DEX technology patented by the UPC can be used to explore large volumes of networked data, says the Science Daily report. The system offers high-speed processing, configurable data entry from multiple sources, and the management of networks with billions of nodes and connections from a desktop PC.

Users can quickly and easily identify interrelated records by formulating queries based on simple values such as names and keywords—something that was only possible to a limited extent until now, the report notes. In what was the first major application of DEX, the Notary Certification Agency (ANCERT) used the technology to detect fraud in real estate transactions and the Catalan Institute of Oncology is using it to study the evolution of cancer in Catalonia.

Looking at these encouraging results from an insurance point of view, not only can we hope to have a sophisticated weapon in the fight against fraud, but we also can expect to gather information that will impact health insurance decisions. And since—as noted here in other postings—much cyber-crime activity is focused on social networks, the system’s ability to comb those networks for suspicious patterns will be a welcome feature.

To be sure, this technology is in its early stages. We should be encouraged, however, by the obvious fact that technological developments tend to mature at breakneck speed. Let’s hope that our Catalan friends have great success in exporting this technology to insurance and other industries in which fraud, crime and lack of information may be critical problems.

Ara C. Trembly (www.aratremblytechnology.com) is the founder of Ara Trembly, The Tech Consultant, and a longtime observer of technology in insurance and financial services.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Ara using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at ara@aratremblytechnology.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Digital Vision vs. Harsh Reality

Much work remains to reconcile insurers' digital vision with the digital reality that seems to be arriving for other industries.

Vendors Embrace Mobile Technology

IT leaders at software firms clearly recognize the importance of mobility to drive their businesses forward. Almost 70 percent see mobility as mission critical or important to their organization today.

Big Data Is Paying Off

Insurers are getting business benefit out of their big data projects, but these projects alone won't grow their business.

What Can Insurers Learn from Home Depot?

The latest cyber-attack highlights the importance of helping policy holders defend themselves.

Not Your Father’s Insurance Company

Carriers need to look at new and impactful ways to be there for their customers.

How to Attract Top Tech Talent

When it comes to rankings of the best places to work, insurers are few and far between. Here’s what those who make the lists do to appeal to IT professionals.